Iapetus gets dusted

Iapetus gets dusted

Saturn moon's yin-yang surface explained

By Nadia Drake, 16:12 PM July 12, 2011

Imagine a powdered sugar doughnut hole plowing through a cloud of dark-chocolate dust. The resulting two-colored treat would resemble one of Saturn’s weirder moons, Iapetus — an icy world with a coal-black face and a bright white backside.

For centuries astronomers have puzzled over the source of this yin-yang color pattern. Now a team led by graduate student Daniel Tamayo of Cornell offers an explanation: Dust flung from another one of Saturn’s moons is coating one side of Iapetus. Becaus...

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